Causes and management of breast cancer
Breast cancer is the most common cancerous lesions which affect the females, it occurs due to abnormal growth and division of breast cells leading to formation of breast mass or lump which is a characteristic sign of breast cancer.
On the other side, there are certain factors which increase the incidence of breast cancer; the most significant ones include the following:
- Positive family history of breast cancer (genetic cause).
- Excessive and frequent exposure to radiation.
- Early menarche (first menstrual period).
The classic clinical picture of breast cancer usually starts by feeling of breast mass. Also, you may later notice the following:
- • Change in the size or shape of breast.
- • Inverted nipples.
- • Abnormal breast discharge.
- • Unexplained weight loss (cachexia).
In general, if you noticed one or more of the above symptoms, it's important to seek medical advice. First, the doctor will check both breasts and the associated lymph nodes in the armpit. For confirmation of the diagnosis, the doctor will ask for the following investigations:
- Radiological examinations of the breast, such as MRI or ultrasound.
- Mammography: it's X-ray examination which is commonly used for diagnosis of breast cancer.
- Breast tissue biopsy: for staging.
According to the size, site and number of breast lesion, the doctor will choose one or more of the following treatment options:
- Surgical removal of the tumor: in small and single breast mass.
- Total mastectomy with or without the adjacent lymphadenectomy: in multiple breast masses limited to the breast tissue.
- Chemotherapy: it's mainly used in advanced cases or for pre-operative shrinkage of the tumor.
- Radiotherapy: as chemotherapy.